Coeur Posts Record 4Q, Full-Year Silver-Equivalent Output
The company said fourth-quarter output hit a record of 11.7 million silver-equivalent ounces, which was a quarter-on-quarter gain of 23% and year-on-year gain of 17%. This consisted of 4.5 million ounces of silver and 119,114 ounces of gold, both higher from the previous quarter and the year-ago period.
Full-year 2017 silver-equivalent production also was the highest in the company’s history at 39.4 million ounces, up 9% from 2016. Full-year silver production was 16.4 million ounces, 11% higher than in 2016 and near the top of the company's guidance of 15.3 million to 16.6 million ounces. Full-year gold production was 383,444 ounces, 7% higher than in 2016 and in-line with guidance of 367,000 to 392,000 ounces.
Coeur said production growth was driven primarily by the Palmarejo mine in Mexico, where 2017 silver-equivalent production increased 64% from 2016. The company said silver and gold grades rose in the fourth quarter, although they will gradually decrease in the first quarter due to mine sequencing.
For 2018, Coeur said it expects to produce between 36.6 million and 40 million silver-equivalent ounces, consisting of 12.8 million to 14.4 million ounces of silver, 355,000 to 375,000 ounces of gold, and 23 million to 28 million pounds of both zinc and lead.
Coeur said it will list the San Bartolomé Mine under discontinued operations when the company reports its next financial results on Feb. 7. The mine, which has been sold, produced 4.3 million ounces of silver in 2017.
However, Coeur said it will restart production at Silvertip in British Columbia, projecting silver-equivalent output of roughly 4 million to 5 million ounces. This is the mine that accounts for the company’s projected zinc and lead output.